SDM at Work

Client Uses Supported Decision-Making with DRM Support

A woman with an intellectual disability contacted DRM with questions about guardianship and alternatives. The advocate attended the client’s Individual Support Team meeting. The client explained that she felt like sometimes she made poor choices and she wished there was someone who would help her think through her decisions. She thought that she might want to have a guardian. During the meeting, DRM talked to the client about what guardianship was and the array of alternatives to guardianship that exist, including supported decision-making. When the client said she wanted to think about it more, DRM sent her a packet of information about guardianship and alternatives. When DRM met with the client again, she stated that she did not want someone to have the legal authority to force her to do something she didn’t want to do, but she still wanted help with making decisions. The advocate talked to the client about advance directives, powers of attorney, supported decision-making, and other alternatives. After considering all alternatives, the client decided she wanted to try supported decision-making. DRM drafted a supported decision-making contract for her to use. DRM checked in after a month and the client in now successfully using supported decision-making and no longer wants to have a guardian.